Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Hosts Third Annual Asian Lantern Festival in Unique Year

The festival featured a 66-foot-tall Phoenix rising from the water.

In 2020, Tianyu was proud to continue working with the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for the third annual Asian Lantern Festival. In this unique year, we worked closely with Cleveland Metroparks Zoo team to design exhibits that met COVID-19 safety guidelines, as well as adjusted our construction process to accommodate the Zoo’s availability.

For 28 days, we installed our lanterns during business hours behind-the-scenes so that we did not disrupt the Zoo’s daily operation.

Butterfly Tree Chinese Lantern
Butterfly tree featured at the third annual Asian Lantern Festival at the Metroparks Zoo. Photo by Edmond Wong.

Visitors who stayed after hours were treated to a dazzling show of lights and culture unlike any event found in Northern Ohio. From July 8 to October 4, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo featured 66 displays with 1,000 illuminated lanterns made up of roughly 20,000 lights.

The festival included a drive-through option for guests to enjoy the experience from the safety of their vehicle. Tianyu designed lanterns specifically to fit the experience including the “Time Tunnel” featuring LED lights programmed to music.

This year’s festival at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo offered a diverse array of lantern sculptures that helped promote both Asian culture as well as wildlife conservation. Visitors were greeted with dazzling displays such as the multi-colored cherry blossom trees, peacock steps, a magic teapot, a jellyfish tunnel complete with seaweed and shells, a volcano, and so much more.

Tianyu also built dazzling lanterns on the water that required extensive planning and construction. Our team spent two days developing an underwater structure to support our stunning 66-foot-tall phoenix that rose from the water while devoting another 36 hours to assembling other large lanterns with a crane.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Drive-Through Visitors
Attendees at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo were able to enjoy our Chinese lanterns with a new drive-through experience. Photo by Edmond Wong.

One of the crowd favorites this year was a special lantern display that featured representations of the 12 zodiac signs, another nod to the Chinese traditions that inspire our beautiful festivals. Due to popular demand, the 2020 Asian Lantern Festival was given a one-month extension!

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted society and forced us to reimagine how we approached our festivals. Ultimately, we were able to work with our partners to create new, innovative ways to safely share our illuminated lantern sculptures while meeting their individual and organizational goals.

We hope you enjoyed this look at the making of Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc., Lantern Festivals. Contact us to see how we can bring engaging experiences to your next event.